Canadian Backyard Wedding: Kara + Tom

wedding party

Kara + Tom wanted their wedding to be a fun, relaxed summer party that reflected who they are together. And since Kara is a graphic designer by trade, their celebration was the perfect chance to really let her artistic talents fly free and craft a day that was filled with personal touches + eclectic details. They weren’t afraid to freely mix styles and they did a great job of blending vintage + rustic items with elements that were more sleek + modern. And that’s something that can definitely serve as inspiration for all of you who don’t want to stick to a certain style, but aren’t sure how things would turn out if you don’t! Here’s a bit more about the day from Kara:

We took the idea of a ‘party’ pretty literally – with balloons, popcorn, lollipops, sparklers, sky lanterns, lawn games, cupcakes and more! And instead of worrying how everything would come together, we just choose things that mirror our personalities, tastes, and life together. We kept our wedding true to the initial vision of a great party that mirrored us as a couple.

Thanks so much to Andrew Mark Photography for sharing these gorgeous images with us today and big congrats to Kara + Tom!

wood invite tag

accordion wedding invite

groom socks

How much do you love Kara’s fun, yellow shoes + bold, red lips?!

yellow heels

blue bridesmaids

yellow and blue bouquet



striped groomsmen socks

first look

wedding party

Kara + Tom really wanted to make their photos a top priority, so they scheduled lots of time with their awesome photographer. And by doing so, they were able to get a wide array of super rad shots with backgrounds ranging from abandoned buildings downtown to a beautiful, secluded forest. Love this idea if you are able to pull it off.

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

bride and groom

canadian bride

wedding party

bride and groom

canadian groomsmen

Kara wasn’t afraid to rock some eye-catching baubles! She purchased her jewels from Etsy + Aldo Accessories.


bride and groom

ceremony programs


outdoor ceremony

Our Musical Choices

Processional: Love Story meets Viva la Vida – Jon Schmidt

Recessional: Bittersweet Symphony – The Verve (instrumental)

First Dance: Box of Stones – Benjamin Francis Leftwich

outdoor ceremony

bride and groom

giant white balloon

Love these cute balloon shots in the woods!

giant white balloon

statement necklace

wedding sign

seating chart

clipboard seating chart

Kara and her mom spent endless hours hand making all of the whimsical reception details! And, in the end, everything came together to create a great party that felt like a natural extension of Kara + Tom. :)

giant map

navy blue

honey jar favors

wedding cake

Our Favorite Memory From The Wedding

Kara: It’s so hard to pick just one, there were so many amazing moments! One that particularly stands out was during our dinner, Tom and I slipped away with our photographers for some evening photos. Being alone with Tom, walking in the forest and hearing the voices and laughter of our favourite people in the world and knowing they were all there to support us. It was in that moment that it really hit me that we were finally married!

Tom: The moment from our wedding day that most stands out to me was our first dance. The whole day seemed to go by in a bit of a blur, but in that moment it was just Kara and I.

first dance

Our Advice To Those Planning Now

There are so many great words of advice I was given while planning; don’t worry about traditions, be yourselves, hire an amazing photographer, you can’t do everything yourself, make this day about both of you. No matter how perfectly you plan, there will always be things that don’t work out. So just go with it and don’t loose sight of why you are having a wedding in the first place! At the end of the day, you’re the only one who will notice the things you didn’t get finished or that not everything went as planned. So soak in all the moments, the day will still be amazing because you married the one you love!

Post Divider Line

photography: Andrew Mark Photography // venue name: family backyard Ontario, Canada // event design: the bride // planning: the bride // florals: Local Farmers Market // wedding dress: Lisa Van Hattem // hair stylist: Laura Fusilier and Grace Siwik // makeup artist: Emily O'Quinn // videography: Amanda Wood // paper goods: the bride // catering: Food Affair Catering // cake: Let's Eat Cake // officiant: Joyce deGier-VanderSpek // bouquets: Sheryl Bakker // cupcakes: Let's Eat Cake // favors: Oxford Honey & Supplies // ceremony music: Janet VanderSpek and Barry Schneider // reception music: Simon Olbach // bride's shoes: Ruche, Hudsons Bay Co. // jewelry: Etsy, Aldo Accessories // bridesmaid/men attire: H&M, Bill Levkoff, Mexx // groom: RW&Co, H&M, Aldo, Etsy // groomsmen's attire: RW&Co, H&M, Aldo, Etsy